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February 07, 2020

A conversation with Australian startup consultant Luke Lazarus on storytelling and success



Over the course of a career that started remarkably early in life, with his first business founded at the age of just eight, Luke Lazarus has worked tirelessly to become one of Australia’s most sought-after consultants. He’s helped countless companies find much-needed direction, level up their business, and achieve greater success by overhauling their operations, finding much-needed vision, and taking on the qualities needed to attract venture capital when it’s needed.



Today, Lazarus joins us to share some of the techniques he uses to help startups achieve massive growth. You’ll learn his proven strategies to get investors interested in companies, what he thinks modern marketing should look like, and how he helps make big business dreams come true.

Q: How do you build a successful business plan - and why, exactly, are business plans so important?

A: I cannot stress this enough: a cohesive, coherent business plan is an outline of your vision and also clearly defines the limitations and challenges that you will face as you build and scale your business - as well as the financial model that will help you realize it.

A successful business plan is one that shows partners, employees, potential investors, and customers everything they need to know about a company. Products and brands that learn how to tell and share their stories perform far better than those that fail to cultivate a clear sense of identity, and the story and product can grow hand-in-hand if included smartly in the business plan from day one.

Q: If that’s the case, how do you present ideas and business plans?

A: It all comes down to storytelling. I tell stories to potential investors and in meetings with businesses to show the why behind the big asks, whether they’re for partnership in business or simply to drum up financial support.

When I work with startups, I do the same thing. I help companies streamline their messaging, books, and operations in order to attract potential angel investors and venture capitalists. It’s important to note that many first-time entrepreneurs fail to close deals not because they don’t have a great product or service, but because they don’t truly understand how venture capitalists work or what gets investors excited about buying.

Q: What is your own personal daily routine? Are there any specific techniques you use in order to start working and build momentum with new clients?

I start my days with 15 minutes of meditation. Over the course of the workday, I make a very specific point to avoid wasteful multitasking and the potential distractions it can bring to the process, and I never take my eye off of the clock. I stay productive when working with clients on their terms, and I use a unique notetaking system to ensure that everything I plans to do gets done each day.

To bring my clients’ ideas to life, I start by examining the story - the why - underneath the venture or the product, and use this information to create a throughline and better understand why a business may not be currently achieving success. I see story and success as deeply linked, almost to the point that these two things are interchangeable. They’re also a way to better understand the niche my clients create - as well as how clients can fill it once they’ve created it.

Q: What advice would you give to your former self?

A: I was always ambitious. I always had a vision and a plan to go big, but this ambition prompted me to worry far more than I ever needed to.  I regret letting my anxiety drive me to finish my education so quickly, and I do wish I’d let my younger self take a moment to relax and be confident in the fact that my hard work would ultimately be rewarded. Had I been willing to be more confident in my strengths, I could have spared myself a great deal of headaches and unhappiness in my youth.

Q: How do you address failure in life?

A: It’s always easy to worry about every aspect of every project you ever decide to take on. That said, it’s never to your advantage worry over your potential failure to the point that it dominates your life as an entrepreneur or human being. Self-confidence and a shift in mindset can give us the power to transcend so many of our deepest worries, and by simply betting on yourself - as I have so many times in my life, even in the toughest of times - you have the power to change outcomes for the better - and make a difference in business and in life.

To learn more about Luke Lazarus, click here.



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